tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 22, 2014 8:00am-10:01am EDT
>> a discussion of recent data breaches at several businesses. then secretary of state john kerry testifies before the senate foreign relations committee about the isis terror group. and live at five p.m., former acting solicitor general joins a panel previewing the upcoming court chart. >> c-span, created by america's cable companies 35 years ago and brought to you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. >> host: well, no doubt you've heard about some of the data breaches at companies such as
home depot, target, sony's playstation as well. this week on "the communicators" we're going to discuss data breaches with wade baker of verizon, and verizon has put out a data breach report for 2014. mr. baker is the chief technology officer and security director for verizon enterprise solutions. what does that mean, mr. baker? what a do you do? [laughter] >> guest: well, we research security technologies, try to bring those technologies into our product so that we secure corporate networks and consumers as well. >> host: what's the definition of a data breach? >> guest: an unauthorized individual or could be a group gains access to nonpublic information, is the clearest definition of it. so it could be corporate secrets, could be personal information, could be e-mails, any kind of information that you don't want the public to see. >> host: what are some of the major conclusions of your 2014
data breach informations report? -- investigations report? >> guest: major conclusions are that this thing is getting more and more complex every year. we see a wider variety of attackers. ten years ago in the security space we mainly worried about network worms that would roam around the internet very fast and knock servers offline, but now we're worried about large scale denial of service attacks, eastern european organized crime that targets banks, we're worried about advanced threats that are centered on espionage. so the problem has gotten much more complex. >> host: joining our conversation today is joe marks of politico, technology reporter. >> hi, peter. so, wade, the focus in the last couple months especially has been on these big point of sale attacks that are happening between when you swipe your card and when the information goes to the company. can you tell us why these seem more prevalent and if we're particularly vulnerable at that
moment? >> guest: we are. so a lot of people are aware when they buy something online that, oh, i need to make sure this site is legit, and i'm a little worried about entering my payment card, but we just don't think about it when we with swipe at a terminal, and i think that's because we've done this for a long time, we're used to the technology, it's less mysterious. but signs you swipe that card, that -- as soon as you swipe that card, that data is transmitted outside, and there's many points in that chain where that could be compromised. and these things are happening every day. >> they seem to be the biggest breaches, especially the one recently at home depot and, of course, the target attack last year except your report says as of 2013 at least, these were decreasing, is that right? >> guest: they are decreasing, but i think there's an important distinction. so if -- we've been doing this report for seven years, but we have ten years of data.
so it's a nice -- you can see changes in the threat landscape over that time. several years ago we saw very large banks and payment processers that were compromised, and those were very big breaches. then we had an era where it seemed like a lot of mom and pop shops, small and medium businesses were compromised on point of sale devices. and now in the last year it seems to have shifted back to larger retailers. so numerically speaking, we saw fewer. but as far as the amount of data compromise, i think it's much larger just because those are larger breaches with a lot more impact. >> and most of the time when this happens it seems t not necessarily itself, but it's some -- the store itself, but some third party that is able to access all this information. can you explain this whole big ecosystem, and is there a way to possibly make it safe? >> guest: yeah. it's a frightening web once you start digging into it.
and this, by the way, doesn't only exist in retailers. this is pervasive, just the supply chains that we all are a part of are increasingly large and complex. but specifically these retailers, a point of sale system is in a store, and that store is part of many other stores. and it could be across multiple different chains under one umbrella management. so these things are all going to be networked. very often in retailers there's not a local security team that is there to take care of that point of sale system, so you hire a third party, and their responsibility is managing and protecting and maintaining that point of sale system. so anytime you add a third party to the mix, you add a way that they need to be able to access that point of sale system, usually remotely, and that also opens up the door potentially for an unauthorized individual hacker, whatever you want to call them, to exploit that vector as well. and that's what happens in a lot of these. they steal the password of the
third party that's managing the system, and they access them just as though they were the ones that were authorized to do so. >> and in the case of target, the inroad was the hvac company which you don't necessarily expect your hvac company to have the best internet security. that's not their expertise. is there a way to force some overall security on this ecosystem? >> guest: there have been many attempts. you bring up another very interesting point about not only are there more third parties in the mix and every time you add somebody, you add another vector of attack, but we're also putting more things on the network. so, you know, the fact that an hvac is connected to a network that is connected to another network that your payment systems are connected to is something we tend to forget about as we add complexity to our networks over time. and there should be, many of the regulations state when you have a payment network, it should be
completely firewalled off and isolated from anything else. but it's like an old house, these networks have grown up over time, and all of a sudden you knock down a wall, and you find another passageway to another part of the house. >> host: wade baker, has wireless added to this problem? >> guest: most definitely. so, and going back to retail stores, not only do you have the wire line network, but you have wireless systems could be for employees to access, could be for inventory payments, could be for rfid and blue tooth and those are automatically registered. so, absolutely, an attacker could sit in a parking lot, and if that wireless network isn't secured, they can gain access just by sitting there remotely. >> host: your investigations report -- which, by the way, is online at c-span.org/communicators -- you talk about nine different types of hacks, and one of those is an
app attack. what is that? >> guest: so we have all been on the web, and we have all used some type of online web application. we'd call it a web site or something like that, and a lot of people don't realize that it looks like a page of words, but that's actually a server in the background connected to the internet somewhere running a web application. and sometimes those web applications do various things; they'll take your data in you fill out a form, return information back to you, let you manage your bank account, play with facebook or whatever you like to do online, right? so these web applications run on code, and anytime you have software or code, there can be vulnerabilities in that code. also software needs to be updated over time, so many times these things just stay on the internet, and they're not patched, they're not updated. again, people are familiar with this because you get updates on your home pc constantly, right? it's the same kind of thing.
the bad guys know exactly where those holes are. >> you mentioned there are nine different categories listed in the report, and they run a huge gamut from one nation-state trying to attack another to attacks on banks to point of sale attacks where somebody's trying to get your data, to the syrian democratic army. are these things related this some ways? >> guest: some of them are. so one of the things we came up with those nine patterns was just because we, as analysts, were having difficulty getting our arms armed all of these. we would talk to many organizations, and many of them said, forget it, i can't keep up with the amount of threats out there, they seem so can diverse. so we did some analysis, and i won't go into the math, but basically, all these 100,000 incidents fit more or less within one of those nine buckets.
and some of those are very much related. we have a pattern called crimeware, for instance, which is just malicious software that gets installed on a computer, and it does various things. we also have a pattern that's denial of service attacks. normally you wouldn't think malicious code running on a computer is related to denial of service attacks which are launched at a web server to try to knock it offline so it doesn't work anymore. but the fact of the matter is often malware gets installed on a system, and it joins that one system to a network of other systems that also have that same malware, and then as a unit these hundreds of thousands of systems -- >> and that's called a -- >> guest: distributed denial of service attack. they'll all be pointed at one web site. maybe you don't like their political stance or something like that, and just knock it offline so nobody sees it anymore. kind of their own separate part of the problem.
>> there cases in which it's the same people who are hitting the defense department and also trying to steal your bank account information? >> guest: there is some of that. so there's a lot of the shadowy underworld that's difficult to track, but -- and there are some groups that are definite financially motivated. i mean, they do business to hack into banks and retailers, and they want to steal payment card information and personal information so they can translate that into cash. and then there are others that are firmly rooted in the more espionage working for a government type phase. but then there's this middle ground where we do see some movement in between and some shared tools that they use and also shared people as far as we can tell. so, yes, there is a connection, and i think that's one of the things that we as security researchers try to know, because the better we know our adversary, the better we're able
to protect against them. >> host: so, wade baker, are these people sitting in their basement doing this? [laughter] is there an organized office? is this a government-sponsor ised entity? i mean, who are these people? >> guest: it's truly all of the above. we have worked with law enforcement agencies who have busted down doors and dragged people out of their basement, literally. we have also participated in fairly large scale arrests of multiple individuals that are very highly connected together, very well organized. they each have individual specialties and roles; someone writes malicious software, the others know how to wash the money and all of these things, just like physical organized crime. and then there are others that definitely are working on behalf of the goth. they have an office, there's picture pictures of it, there's recon photos and all that kind of thing, and they go to that building. that's their job, is to hack
into companies and steal information on behalf of a government. >> host: is this profitable? >> guest: it seems to be, very much so, unfortunately. there are places i've seen some photos of some eastern european towns, for instance, that where just an insane number of people drive lamborghinis -- [laughter] and things like this. and a lot of that is the spam, the fake pharmaceuticals, the financial fraud and just tax fraud, medicare fraud and all of these things. it's staggering amounts of money that are at some point along that chain traced back to data that was stolen, stored at a corporation or government. >> host: verizon is an isp, a wireless provider. what kind of measures do you, does your company take to prevent attacks on your systems? >> guest: so we, of course, we are in many ways the playing
ground that a lot of this takes place over. so it's very important to us to protect it. so i'll go back to the denial of service attacks that are an attempt to knock a company offline. could be government, could be a company. but that takes place over our network in many cases, and so we very often jump right in there with that company who's being attacked, work with them very tightly because the more that they're taked, it's also slowing down -- attacked, it's also slowing down our network and affecting other customers. so we try to shut that off as close to the source as we can and both preserve that company and our own network from. a data breach perspective, we're very often trying to find malicious communication taking place. we work with companies to protect them from ever having intrusions into their network, but also have a team that helps
respond when something does go wrong, to respond very quickly and work with law enforcement, do notifications or whatever is needed. so it's at multiple levels. at the consumer and corporate level. >> host: joe marks. >> when you find someone on a network like that, can you give us a little bit of the play-by-play of how you get them off? do you kick them autoright away or -- out right away or check them out for a while? >> guest: it depends. a lot is what we know about it. if it looks like it's a system and maybe it's infected with malware and it's beaconing outside the network, a lot of times we'll recommend take that thing offline as soon as possible, wipe it and go from there. but in your more complex attacks, sometimes we do need to watch for a little bit and see what's going on, and we've worked with customers to set almost like network cameras on their networks to see, oh, okay, i see exactly what's going on here, and now we have evidence in the same way you would in the
physical world, right? you need to catch them in the act, so to speak. so we can do that. many times it's putting evidence together almost like digital fingerprints. you can tell certain attackers by the way that they do things, the artifacts that they leave behind, and that traces back to certain groups, and a lot of times we'll work with law enforcement to go disrupt at that level because it's, unfortunately, often kind of a whack-a-mole situation in a company. you may think, you may only know about one system on their network that's compromised, but there may be, in fact, hundreds or thousands that are compromised. so you clean this one up, but then you pop up here and here and here and here. so that's one of the most difficult parts of responding to a wide sprad -- widespread incident. >> how can they compromise so many companies? can you explain that? what's a vector of infection?
>> guest: sorry, sorry, it's just a way in the door. if i wanted to get into a house, how could i get in there? i could walk in the front door, i could break a window, if i really needed something difficult, i could tunnel up and come through the floor. of course, like any attacker you're going to take the easiest way, which is what most attackers do. and sometimes that's a vulnerability in a web application. sometimes it's sending a phishing e-mail to a user that they click on, and now that system is infected. and it opens a doorway, essentially, for an attacker to come in. so once they have we call it a foothold or some established ground inside that organization's network, then they can spread around because we all know how internal networks are. we just plug our systems in, and now they're part of the daisy chain of computers. and then they can just hop from computer to computer, a lot of times they'll go to the domain server that has all the user accounts, and they steal hundreds or thousands of passwords, and now they can do
that. so that lateral spread throughout the network happens after that initial compromise takes place. and it can happen very quickly. they move quickly. sometimes it's very slow, but the idea is to get as deeply rooted and firmly entrenched as you can so that you see everything going on in the network from the attacker's perspective. >> phishing e-mails the kinds of things consumers are used to, click here to enter sweepstakes? >> guest: some are not quite as cheesy and obvious as those -- [laughter] some of them are, actually. the good ones will do a well-crafted e-mail, and let's say for some reason they knew that we were meeting today. they might send you an e-mail, hey, thanks for time today, thought you might find this article interesting. so they can make it pretty believable by knowing you attend ed a conference this certain time period or something like that. but as soon as you open that pdf document or whatever it is,
you're infected and many times don't even know about it. >> so a lot of this is technology, but it's also social engineering. >> guest: absolutely. it's almost all of these advanced attacks start with an exploitation of a person and a relatively simple attack if you really think about it. you're tricking someone to click on something. >> host: wade baker, are there any regulations on the federal level that apply to all this? >> guest: there are numerous ones. so there are standards and regulations for how we protect systems, and there's many of them depending on, you know, is it processing payments, there's a set there, if you're storing government and classified data, there's another set of standards: so there's those. there's also increasing discussion on when an incident occurs, what you're responsible to report about it or disclose. so if you have information
stored on individuals and that's compromised, then you have to report that publicly and notify the individuals. and there's more and more of this discussion taking place. it's not always regulated into law. a lot of it's voluntary, and i think it should be. but there's this realization that if we can share information, we're all together better aware of the situation that's really going on, and we can respond better. because our attackers are working together. i mean, that's the fact, so we as defenders got to share information as well. >> why is it better that information sharing is voluntary rather than something organized through the government or what's calls an isac? >> guest: so many times the isacs are voluntary. you can join and give information, and they don't can require that, okay, you have to tell me exactly these things on every single, every single bit. i think it's voluntary, better
voluntary because you're going to get better information that way, you're going to really get to the root issue. so if we just make a law that says, oh, these things have to be shared, as soon as you make that law, now it's got to be updated and changed, and this situation we're in is very fluid, and it just seems to change quite drastically over time. so something needs to adapt to that fairly regularly. and the same thing with controls, you know? if i say here's the ten things that everybody needs to do today, one of the problems we've had in security is that those don't get updated fast enough. so there's a lot of complaint about that in the retail and financial sector. but information sharing is a extremely important, and there's a lot of very good reasons to do it that organizations are latching onto because they realize that if i share and i get information, that that's very helpful to me, and i'm also reaping the benefits and so are
my peers when we do this. i think that in the last several years especially that has really increased, as far as i can tell. >> are there concerns from the other side that when you share information you're either giving up your own trade secrets or intellectual property, or you might be violating an agreement with a client? >> guest: absolutely. you're asking for perceptive questions. the things that i hear as far as concerns on information sharing, yes, i'm violating some kind of client privilege. i've done this, and i know something. should i be able to share that or share ab abstractions of that information with others so they can better prepare for a similar attack? concern about brand, right? if i share this and say that we had an incident, is this going to reflect negatively on me and look like i'm not prepared to deal with security? on that note, i mean, we're increasingly under the impression that, you know, the difference between secure organizations and nonsecure
organizations often isn't whether or not they've ever had a compromise just because, i mean, it's a fact of doing business just like any other accident, but it's how well you prepare for and respond to those things. so you see organizations that take forever to figure out what happened and are very, very, very slow to respond, then there are some that are very quickly letting everybody know about it, they're open and honest, they deal with the situation, you know? it's often the difference between good and bad in that case. but there are some concerns. >> do you think that that model is understood by the public, that you can be breached well, you can be breached badly -- [laughter] and are companies explaining that to the public well enough, and is the public grasping it? >> guest: i don'ti don't know. i've done a little experiment with my family at holiday gatherings and stuff like that. i, over the last several years because i've been in this breach world, and, of course, when there's a breach, it's big on my radar. but i always ask, hey, did you
hear about the such and so breach recently? for eight years i've gotten this, no, what are you talking about? it just reminds me how small my world is. but over the last year as i've asked that question, they have heard of this, you know? so somehow it's getting down on their level far more than it has in the past. i don't know if it's because we're all tired of having our credit cards swapped out so many times a year or getting the breach notices or what it is, but there's definitely an awareness, and i think some of that is the companies themselves driving that, government regulation. it just seems to be more of a buzz about it. >> host: wade baker, do you attend the black cat and defcom conferences that are held every year to talk with some of these hackers? >> guest: i attended, yes -- >> host: was it valuable for you? >> guest: it was, actually, it was. i think it's good to understand the perspective. some of those events are
changing over time. black hat, for instance, is one that i like to go to because you can see people out there, hey, look at this attack i just figured out, and they're trying to get publicity for themselves. while that's, perhaps, not great and might even be part of the problem depending on who you talk to, it does give you perspective on how easy some of these things are. you see the latest attacks, you see some of the trends that are going. because as soon as these things are talked about in the public forum, you know it's just a matter of time before the criminals are using those exact same techniques. so it's a way to keep up. >> host: on a personal level, how often do you change your passwords and do you, for example, bank online or wireless? >> guest: i do bank online, and i bank on my mobile device. so i, i change my passwords pretty, you know, maybe every six months, to be honest with you. so i don't want change them that -- i don't change them that
off. but the thing that i do can is i use a password manager. i do not try to make pup my own pass -- make up my own passwords. so i just outsource that to my little brain that comes up with a very complex password, and a lot of these programs are freely available for people to download are, i highly recommend one. and a lot of times they'll let you know, hey, there's been a breach with such and so. we see you have an account with this, you might want to change your password, and that's extremely helpful. so that's a tip that i just tell everybody, is change that. and i also always end able two factor authentication like through my mobile device if an online service or bank offers that. not only do i enter my password, but i'll get a little digit code on my mobile device that just makes it a lot harder for the criminals to gain access to your account. so always try to enable that as well. >> host: final question,
mr. marks. >> every two or three months there seems to be, the password is dead, look toward to the end of -- look forward to the end of the password. is the password going to die anytime soon? >> guest: i hope so. [laughter] it probably, it probably won't completely die, but if you think about it, we have the means of getting over this. i think this has got to be a collective thing that we as consumers, as an industry, as retailers and banks, we need to get together and figure out how to do this. and i'll just throw some things out there about how easy this would be. so think about the fact that we enter a pass w0rd, and we have to remember it, sometimes we have to look it up, and that's how we gain access to all these important accounts that we have. well, you know, there's a lot of information that we could do passively. so most of us have microphones on our computers, and my voice is far more unique than my pass word. the way that i type, at a certain cadence is unique
statistically. we have mobile device, most of us, and they have fingerprint readers on them sometimes. they have cameras. that's a little creepy, but you could look at it, and it would say, yep, you're wade. we know where that device is, and if that's in the same location as your exciter, that's a good catch -- as your computer, that's a good match. there's so many ways, but i just think we've gotten used to the pass word, and it was almost like a crutch now. >> host: the report put out by verizon is available at c-span.org/communicators. wade maker, joe marks, thank you. >> thank you. >> guest: thank you. >> c-span, created by america's cable companies 35 years ago and brought to you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. >> former acting solicitor general joins a panel today previewing the upcoming supreme court term. some of the cases will include
racial gerrymandering of congressional districts, whistleblower protections and the religious liberties of prisoners. live at 5 p.m. eastern here on c-span2. >> c-span campaign 2014 debate coverage continues tonight at 7:30 eastern with the pennsylvania governor's race between republican governor tom corbett and democratic opponent tom wolf. thursday night at nine, nebraska's second congressional district debate between lee terry and state senator brad ashford. and next sunday, the iowa u.s. senate debate between democrat bruce braley and republican joni ernst. >> in testimony before the senate foreign relations committee, secretary of state john kerry reiterated there'll be no ground troops in the u.s. fight against isis.
former u.s. ambassador to syria robert ford also testified. this is four hours. >> no more war! >> no more war! no more war! no more war! no more war! no more war! no more war! no more war! no more war! no more war! >> the committee will come to order. mr. secretary, you have a warm welcome. [laughter] having just returned from a coalition-building mission that will determine the breadth of support and course of thesion
anti-isil strategy in the near and long term, you're here at a critical moment for the iraqi and syrian people, for the region, and for the united states and the world.ra let meqi say at the outset in my view the coalition you are working hard to build will require fully engaged and fully contributing senior partners. a coalition that must be defineu not by words, but by deeds. par a coalition that must be defined not by words, but by deeds. the u.s. can lead this coalition, but our partners, particularly sunni partners, must be all-in. and i fully acknowledge that getting skin in the game will be different for different coalition partners, but congress cannot be providing a black check for the anti-isil campaign. i'm pleased by the willingness of our partners in the middle east to support, fund and provide resources for this
campaign. from cairo to amman to beirut, our partners are sending the signal to isil that they are not welcome that they have a bankrupt religious ideology and that they will be aggressively confronted. above all, the problems in iraq and syria that created an environment susceptible to isil's advance can only be solved locally. in iraq this means an inclusive government with a national agenda and leaders ready to empower the iraqi security forces and kurdish peshmerga forces to take the fight to isil. in syria, it means training and equipping a vetted syria opposition force that shares our vision for a pluralistic free syria, free of isil and all violent extremist groups, but also free of assad and his regime backers. this fighting force should be prepared to support a post assad political structure whenever the circumstances under which he ultimately leaves syria by
negotiated settlement or other means much the president laid to you the a comprehensive holistic strategy that purports to provide the tools to defeat isil. what i expect to hear today is some specifics. the timeline for this mission, the scope, the resources in both personnel, funds, intelligence, military assets an assistance as well as roam our coalition partners in play. we must be clear-eyed about the risks before providing our enduring support for this operation. the fact is, we are living in 2014, not 2003. we must not repeat the mistakes of the past give inthe nature of the threat we face. this means clearly defining the objectives, the political end state that we seek through this anti-isil campaign. i want to hear what success looks like in iraq and syria across the region and what conditions will indicate when it's time to end military
action. now, this is what we know about isil. what has brutally, mercilessly i barbarically followed through on its threats to kill american hostages james foley and steven sotloff. it beheaded british aid worker david haines on saturday and threatens to execute another british citizen, alan henning. it promotes genocide against anyone who does not share its warped version of islam, moderate sunnis, shias, christians, yazidis, minority, it enslaves women and children. it has seized u.s. and iraqi military equipment as built a formidable fighting force. it's pumping oil and selling it to the tune of $1 million a day to fund its brutal tactics, along with kidnappings, theft, extortion and external support. it is recruiting disciples for its unholy war at a frightening pace from europe, the u.s. and anywhere they can find disaffected people. these foreign fighters are
crossing often from turkey, which either because of fear or maybe ideology has declined to participate to stop that flow of fighters and to counter isil. it has declared the territory it occupies a caliphate with intent to seize more territory from u.s. partners and allies from jord ton saudi arabia to lebanon. the risk to jordanian and lebanese stability is real, it's urgent and it's grave. we would be fools not to take this threat seriously. eyesle is an enemy of the united states and the civilized world. now, as i have said many times, temporary and targeted air strikes in iraq and syria fall under the president's powers, as commander in chief. but the military campaign lasts for an extended period of time, which i gather it will, it is my belief that congress will need to approve an icicle-specific authorization for the use of military force.
i'm personally not comfortable with reliance on either the 2001 aumf that relies on a thin theory that eyesle is associated with al qaeda and certainly not on the 2002 iraq aumf which relied on misinformation. i expect the administration today and in the days ahead to brief this committee on its comprehensive strategy and the operational objectives by which we will defeat isil so we can draft an appropriate aumf to address the very grave isil threat we face. now let me be clear, i support the president's strategy and his sense of urgency and i come mend you, mr. secretary, for your efforts with allies in the region who also face violent and destabilizing threats from isil. let's not, however, make the 9/11 mistake of rushing into an aumf, an authorization for the use of military force, that has become the overriding authorization for the last 13 years, has about used for
indefinite duration, and has been used from south asia to the persian gulf to africa and southeast asia. the fact is, we need to ensure that whatever authorization for the use of military force we consider is comprehensive and appropriate in scope and dur railings to meet the threat and sustain the fight. it is our responsibility to answer three fundamental questions, what will it ultimately take to degrade and destroy isil? how does this fight end? and what end state do we seek in the region? we need to get it right in my view, not just get it fast and in doing so, we need a bipartisan approach that puts politics aside and the nation first. this is a long-term effort and we in congress must be very deliberate in our consideration of any new strategy, new authorities and new funding that it will take to meet the new threat we face. i believe we need to defeat isil
before they develop the operational capacity to perform a september 11th-like attack. i never want to lose as many citizens from my home state of new jersey or from the united states as we did on that day. that is our responsibility and it is our solemn obligation. with that, let me turn to the ranking member, senator corker, for his comments. >> well, thank you, mr. chairman, and i appreciate the full and broad opening comments you've made and the way you've expressed many of our concerns regarding isil and their capacity over time to harm americans. i know we're here a few days after the president publicly addressed this as the nation and many others around the western world, the civilized world are outraged over the conduct of isil and i know that americans are greatly concerned about,
over time, the effects they might have on this nation, as you just expressed. we are also here exactly one year and two weeks after in this very room this committee voted out an authorization for the use of force in syria is one to. bright moment, in my opinion, of this committee, not necessarily because of the product, but because we all worked together in such a way to come to an end that we thought was best for the country, much in the light and in the tone the chairman just laid out. so i want to start by welcoming our secretary. we have had some conversations. i appreciate his hard work. but i do want to say i'm -- as i've said to him personally, i'm very disappointed that the administration has choosesen to go about what they're doing without explicitly seeking the aught ridsization of congress.
i think that's huge mistake. i realize that part of that, unfortunately, has to do with the political season that we're in, which is, to me, very unfortunate that that might be a factor to some. and i also realize that part of the strategy and plan or big parts of it are still being created and therefore, it's being put together as we move along and we're really not in a place right now for congress to fully ascertain what the plan might be. and as the chairman just mentioned, he's gonna deal with an authorization, our committee will deal with an authorization. but i just want to say to our secretary, i hope that when that's done, it's done with the administration explicitly seeking that, not saying if congress wants to play a constructive role, it can and it would be welcomed, but one where you seek it and you lay out in detail for us, in both classified and open settings,
what it is we are seeking to achieve and how we are gonna go about it. and again, i know much of this is being made up as we go along. i do hope -- i do hope that the secretary today will outline the true nature of the threat. i know he was in a meeting prior to coming in here where some of that was being discussed, but i hope that clearly today, you'll lay out what you think the true nature of the threat is. thirdly and just one glaring s of state probably don't have the same opportunity that senators do to visit people in refugee camps and to see people that we've said we would support and don't. we've been pushing in this committee for years, or for a long time to arm and train the vetted moderate opposition. we passed out of this committee
a year and a half ago almost on a 15-3 vote that we've been pushing for for longer than that. and in spite of the fact that there are some alleged activities that are occurring, we have not done the things that we said we would do. as a matter of fact, i would say that the position that the administration has taken over this last year and two weeks. since we were here meeting about the authorization and passing one has led to many of the;4v[m problems that we are facing today, many of the problems that are causing civilization itself to be fearful. and, again, though, i appreciate the fact that the secretary's here today, that the administration has stepped forward and has the beginnings of a thought process as to how to address it. i do want to say that what i've heard about dealing with the moderate opposition to me is odd. i know that the administration especially at the white house
has stated how generally feckless, to use a -- to use a word, i think, that describes it. . they believe this moderate opposition to be, and yet, we look at this and today it's our entire ground game. i have supported the training and arming of these rebels for some time. i will say i was shocked yesterday to hear that in the armed services testimony these rebels are actually going to be used against isis. all of them that i've met with and things may have changed. but their focus has been taking out assad. i know they've had a two-front battle or war raging as they've tried to do that. but i'm surprised that the administration is basing their entire ground game on a group of people that candidly are going to receive very little training
under the small authorization that's been put forth, and that's our entire ground game, which brings me back to point two talking about the very nature of the threat. seems to me, the administration has placed many, many caveats on what we will not do. and at the same time, the rhetoric describing the threat is far greater than it seems to me the plan that's being put together. and i'll close with this. i know that typically when you have a coalition, you have the coalition put together before you announce it. i know in this case, we're announcing a coalition, and we are attempting to put it together. and i hope that what we're going to end up with is more than a group of coat holders. i hope that we're going to have people who are really going to be doing things on the ground that matter. but i do hope the secretary through his hard work is generating commitments that will matter as it relates to this.
this effort we all know is not going to be a one or two-year effort. it's going to be a multi-year effort. some people are saying a decade. some people are saying a decade. and so i do think it's important as our chairman laid out that all of us fully understand what we're undertaking. fully understand the nature of the threat. fully understand the commitment of this administration to deal with this threat in the appropriate way. i welcome you here today, i look forward to your testimony and to our questions. >> with that, mr. secretary, we welcome you back to the committee so ably and distinguishedly chaired. we thank you for your service to our country. we know that you just recently arrived from building this coalition. and we appreciate you being here today in order to inform members of p.m.n front of us, and with
that, the floor is yours. >> well, chairman menendez, ranking member corker and members of the committee, my friends and former colleagues. i really thank you for holding this hearing on an issue that is obviously fraught with all the high stakes that both the chairman and the ranking member have just described and all of the members of the committee understand deeply. and i really look forward to this opportunity to both define the threat that isil does pose, the ways in which it does, and, of course, our strategy for defeating it. and all of that could not be more critical for the country. during the years that i had the privilege of serving here and working with different administraons american foreign policy works best and strongest when there's a genuine discussion, dialogue, a betting of ideas back and
forth, really a serious discussion much more an articulation of one set of ideas and then another and they just opposed each other and they set out there and there's no real effort to a meeting of the minds. so want to make sure that by the time we are done here today i heard from you. i know what you're thinking intd give her to me and you know what we are thinking, what the administration is thinking. and the get a clear understanding of what it is that we have done so far of how we see this. and how, hopefully, we can come to see it together, what we are doing now and where do we go next. and i state unequivocally, and it's not a passing sentence that i welcome the input, need the input of this committee because it is together that we are going
to be much stronger and much more effective in guaranteeing the success of this effort. and it's a big effort in a lot of ways. it's about isil in the immediacy, but as we will i think discussed today, it's about a lot more than that. so i want to underscore at the start. you know, there's some debates of the past 30 years, 29 of which i was privileged to serve in the senate, that will undoubtedly fill up books and documentaries for a long time. and iraq is certainly one of them. iraq has caused some of the most heated debates and deepest divisions of the past decade. a series of difficult issues and difficult choices about which people can honestly disagree. but i didn't come here today, in the hope we don't have to rehash those debates. the issue that confronts us
today is one on which we all ought to be able to agree. isil must be defeated. period, end of story. and collectively we are all going to be measured by how we carry out this mission. you know, as i came in here, obviously, we have some folks who spoke out, and i which -- and i would start by saying that i understand%. i've lived it. that's how i first testified in front of this country in 1971. i spent two years protesting a policy. so i respect the right of code pink to protest and to use that right. but, you know, what, i also know something about code pink. would think was started by a
woman and women who are opposed to war but who also thought that the governments job was to take care of people. and to give them health care and education and good jobs. and if that's what you believe in, and i believe it is, then you ought to care about fighting isil. because isil is killing and raping and mutilating women. and they believe women shouldn't have an education. they sell all the girls to be sex slaves to jihadists. there's no negotiations with isil, nothing to negotiate. and they're not offering anyone health care of any kind. you know, they're not offering education of any kind. fort hall philosophy or idea or cold, whatever you want to call it, that frankly comes out of the stone age. they are cold-blooded killers marauding across the middle east
making a mockery of a peaceful religion. and that's precisely why we are building a coalition to try to stop them from denying the women in the girls and the people of iraq the very future that they yearn for. and, frankly, code pink and a lot of other people need to stop to think about how you stop in and deal with that. so i -- [shouting] >> your individual now protect the homeland. you're in visual not protect the homeland. >> so it's important for people to understand -- important for people to understand, there's no invasion. the nation was isil into iraq. the invasion as far as fighters -- foreign fighters industry. that's the invasion, and it is destructive to every possibility of building a state in that
region. so even in a region that is virtually defined by division, and every member of this committee understands the degree to which these divisions are deep in that region. leaders who have viewed the last 11 years for differently have all come together for this cause. they may agree on very little in general, but they are more unified on this subject than anything that i've seen been unified on in my career. so as president obama described last week when he spoke directly to the american people, we do have a clear strategy to degrade, defeat and destroy isil. and it's not in its infancy. it has been well thought through and carefully articulated, and now it is being built in these coalitions efforts that began
with a meeting in jeddah and moved to paris and will move to united nations this week when i chair a u.n. security council meeting on friday. the united states will not go it alone. that has been a fundamental principle on which president obama has sought to organize this effort. and that is why we are building a coalition, a global coalition. there are more than 50 countries already have agreed or are now doing something, not every country will decide that their role is to have some kind of military engagement. but every country can do something, and will show except what that means. and as i traveled around the region and europe in the last days, the question that foreign leaders were asking me was not
whether they should join the coalition, but how they can help. we're also, and i emphasize this, we are not starting from scratch. this is an effort that we've been building over time, both on our own and with the help of our international partners. even before president obama delivered his speech last week, nearly 40 countries have joined in 10 shooting to the effort to strengthen the capacity of iraq to be able to strengthen its military, to train, to provide humanitarian assistance. we've been focused on isil since its inception as the successor to al-qaeda of iraq. in 2013. and back in january, realizing that, we ram wrapped up our assistance to the iraqi security forces, increasing our intelligence surveillance reconnaissance, or isr, the
flights to get a better picture of the battlefield. we expedited weapons like the hellfire missiles or the iraqis in order to bring their capacity to bear in this fight. early this summer the isil threat accelerated when it effectively erased the iraq-syria border, and the mosul dam fell. the president acted immediately, deliberately and decisively. we further searched the isr missions immediately. we set up joint operations centers in baghdad and irbil immediately. and our special forces conducted a very detailed come in depth assessment of iraqi security forces and kurdish forces. we did not purposefully without jumping that some people wanted us to, because we wanted to understand what is the capacity of the iraqi army to fight? how many brigades, having seen
what happened in mosul, are still prepared to engage? are beginning to something that, in fact, -- aren't we getting something that, in fact, who can do what? to date we have launched, we've supported those iraqi security forces that, by the way, helped in the liberating of amerli, helped in the sinjar mount, helped in taking back the mosul damn, now we have launched more than 150 airstrikes. and it is because of the platforms that we put in place last january, even before that those strikes have been among the most precise strikes that we've ever taken. the percentage, i won't go into it here, but i will tell you, you will be astonished if you heard openly now the accuracy of those efforts. those who put in place back in
june. and those strikes have been extremely effective in breaking the siege is that i described, and beginning to move confidence i can to the iraqi military. the judgments and assessments of our military that went over there to look at the iraqi military came back with a judgment of a sufficient number of brigades capable of and ready to fight. and with the reconstitution of the military in a way that can bring the country together and not be divided along sectarian lines, or viewed to be the army of one individual, it is entirely likely that there willd be much greater and more rapid progress. so that has given us time to put in place the two pillars of a comprehensive strategy against the isil. and inclusive iraqi government which was essential. they would be no capacity or success here. if we had not been able to see
the iraqi government come together. and secondly, the broad international coalition so the u.s. is not alone. we redoubled our efforts frankly to the movie iraqi political process forward and we were very clear eyed about the fact that the stretch of isil would only succeed if we had a strong, inclusive government. and, frankly, that required transmission in the government which the iraqis themselves affected. with our support and several weeks of very complex negotiations, the president nominated mr. batty to serve as prime minister but and shortly thereafter prime minister al-abadi again with our support and this is able to form his cabinet, reason it to the parliament. and last week the government was approved. i have to tell you, it's quite astonishing to be in jeddah the other day with the saudis, the
varieties, the bahrainis, the jordanians, the cadres, the turks, the lebanese, and iraqis. iraqis inside a baby. but here in this committee knows what that relationship has been like for the last few years. and here the foreign minister minister of iraq who chaired the meeting side office said they were opening enemy in this in baghdad. that's transformative. the result is something also for iraq that is never seen before in its history. and election deemed credible by the united nations, followed by peaceful transition of power without any used troops on the ground. i must say i was sort of struck yesterday, "the wall street journal" had an article talk about arab divide, but above the arab divide language is the shia
foreign minister of iraq, the kurd president of iraq and the sunni foreign minister of saudi arabia, all in communication and jointly working as never before. so i think people need to focus on what has been accomplished here. as you know i went to iraq last week. i traveled, i met with the leaders of iraq. and throughout the entire process we've been in touch with regional leaders to ensure that the new and inclusive government is going to receive support from the region. with this inclusive government in place, it is time for a defensive strategy that we and our international partners have pursued to get things together, get the inclusive government, know exactly where we were going, can have transition to an offensive strategy. one that harnesses the capabilities of the entire world to eliminate the isil threat once and for all.
president obama outlined his strategy in detail. i'm not going to go through it into detail, but i'll just quickly say, and be quick in walking through it. at its core our strategy is centered on the global coalition that will collaborate closely across a number of specific areas, including direct and indirect military support. military assistance can come in a range of forms, from training and equipping, to logistics and air lift. and countries from inside and outside of our region are already right now providing that support in these venues. i've also no doubt whatsoever that we will have the capabilities and resources we need to succeed militarily. and president obama made clear that we'll be expanding the military campaign to take on the isil in iraq, and syria,
whatever it is found. but this is not the goal for a 1991. it is not the iraq war in 2003, and that's true for a number of reasons. number one, u.s. ground troops will not be sent into combat in this conflict. from the last decade we know that a sustainable strategy is not u.s. ground forces. it is enabling local forces to do what they have to do for themselves and for their country. i want to be clear. the u.s. troops that have been deployed to iraq do not and will not have a combat mission. instead, they will support iraq forces on the ground as they fight for their country against these terrorists. and in syria the on the ground combat will be done by the moderate opposition, which serves as the current best counterweight in syria to
extremists like isil. we know that isil as it gets weaker, the moderate opposition will get stronger. and that will be critical in our efforts to bring about a political solution necessary to address the crisis in syria once and for all. that is one of the reasons why it is so critical that congress authorized the opposition train and equip mission when it comes to the floor. but it's also critical that the opposition makes the most of the additional support. the kind of support that they've been requesting now four years. and they need to take this opportunity to prove to the world that they can become a viable alternative to the current regime. number two, this is more than just a military coalition. and i want to emphasize that. in some ways some of the most important aspects of what we will be doing are not military.
this nation isn't just about taking out an enemy on the battlefield. it's about taking out a network, decimating and discrediting a militant cult masquerading as a religious movement. it's similar to what we've been doing to al-qaeda these last years. the bottom line is we will not be successful with a military campaign alone, and we know it. nor are we asking every country deploy a military role. we don't need every country to engage in that kind of military action. and, frankly, we're not asking them and we don't want every country to do that. only holistic campaign will accomplish our objectives. in addition to the military campaign it will be equally important for the global coalition to dry up isil's illicit funding here and by the way, the bahrainis in the meeting in the jeddah have offered to host a meeting because they've been engaged in this that brings people together
to focus in precisely the steps we can all take to do this, and that can possibly have an impact not just on isil bottom of the flows of terrorism support. we have to stop the foreign fighters who carry passports from countries around the world, including the united states, to continue to deliver, and we also need obviously to continue to deliver urgently needed humanitarian assistance. and, finally, and this is really, you can't overstate this, we must continue to repudiate the gross distortion of islam that isil is spreading. put an end to the sermons by extremists that brainwash young men to join these movements and commit mass atrocities in the name of god. i was very encouraged to hear that saudi arabia's top clerics
came out and declared terrorism a heinous crime under sharia law, and that the perpetrators should be made an example of. and i think -- i might just mention -- i will wait until we get into q&a. all come back to this but a very important statement was made today by the top clerics in the region, and i want to come back to that because i think it's critical. but let me just emphasize that when was the global coalition, we mean it. and this is not australia, other countries, '40s, countries in europe have all taken on already initial responsibilities. so my colleagues, we are
committed to working with countries in every corner of the globe to match the campaign with the capabilities that we need to fight it. and i can tell you today that every single person i spoke to in wales, at the wheel summit, in jedda jeddah come in pairs we have more than 30 countries and entities, they all expressed strong support for our mission and a willingness to help in some way. we have excellent meetings, and our meetings in baghdad and in cairo and in ankara also advanced the process. at the conference in paris, we took another step towards another meeting this week. the young committees unlike the need for that does for which evolving behind closed doors, these countries will be speaking out publicly at the u.n. security council, and the world will begin tuesday what each of these countries are prepared to do. so we have a plan.
we know the players. our focus now is in determining what each country's role will be a net to coordinate those activities for success. later this week we're going to have more to say about our partners and the contributions, and we still fully expect this coalition to grow. one of the things that i'm most pleased about is we've asked one of our most respected and expects military leaders, general john allen, to come to the state department and oversee this effort. he came within 24 hours of being asked, was at his desk at seven in the morning and is now already laying out the campaign from a diplomatic point of view for how we coordinate what will be needed for all of these other aspects beyond the military peace. and i had a long meeting with him yesterday, again today, and i am confident that together
with ambassador brett mcgurk who will serve as the deputy and assistant secretary and patterson was so much a part of her effort against al-qaeda and when she was our ambassador to pakistan, we have a very experienced group of people engaged in this effort. the fact is if we do this right, then this effort could actually become a model for what we can do with respect to the individual terrorist groups in other places that continued to wreak havoc on efforts of governments to build their states and provide for their people. and i'm confident that with our strategy in place and international partners on our side, we will have all that we need. and with the help of the congress, we will be able to succeed in degrading and ultimately destroying this monstrous organization, wherever it exists. i know that was a little long, mr. chairman, but i wanted to lay out and i appreciate your patience spent well, thank you, mr. secretary. let me start off with i pick
what are the most critical lessons that we learned from past u.s. attorney in -- interventions abroad is that we must have a clear vision toward the in state we are seeking. and a coherent strategy that is focused about how, not only do we enter and succeed, but how do we exit the theater of war. so i'd like to get as succinct as you can a statement from you as to what does the indigo look like. i heard you talk about taking out a network. i get that, but beyond that what is the political in state conditions we are seeking so that we will no that it's time to end military action? >> military action ends when we have ended the capacity of isil to engage in broad-based terrorist activity that threatens the state of iraq, threatens the united states, threatens the region.
that's our goal, and that means ending their ability to live in uncovered spaces, have a safe haven and be able to control territory and move at will, to try to attack the united states or other places. the threat obviously right now is for middle east and europe, but with americans over there fighting with passports. >> so obviously that doesn't mean we're going to look to eliminate every person who is associated with isil. >> we have been able to eliminate every person associated with al-qaeda. >> so speeded we've been able to reduce the capacity to mount major attacks. you know, under the circumstances that we are able to obviously guard against and engage in speeded so in iraq we want a sovereign iraq is territory integrity has been restored without the presence of isil.
>> and independent inclusive government that is functioning. >> and in serious? >> syria, likewise. we believe ultimately there's no solution to syria without a political settlement. that goal hasn't changed. but assad has had little incentive to negotiate the incentive that existed when i first went to moscow last year and president putin and russia agreed to support the geneva process, ma regrettably got sidetracked by a number of things, one of which was the infighting that begin to take place in the opposition itself. two, the unexpected degree to which assad became an extraordinary magnet for terrorists. and that's when he began to have this amazing flow of foreign fighters who came to get rid of assad. and as assad gashed people and there'll bombed people and tortured and so forth, it became
more evident to those global fighters, and particularly to countries in the region, they were focused on whatever group could get that have assad. and, unfortunately, tragically, isil is somewhat an outgrowth of that phenomenon. therefore, we are today, you know, i think all the countries in the region have recognized that there was a mistake of judgment with respect to that process, and i think people that are bending over backwards to try to rectify it spin ac back i think members of this committee who have joined together to first vote for the authorization of use of military force as president obama was headed to the g20 seven at the time in russia, to deter assad from using chemical weapons, and to subsequent voted in a bipartisan effort to arm the predator in
rebels over a year ago only appreciate that, it is my hope that when we refine the definition of the in state as it relates to the campaign against isil that we understand that if i'm a moderate bedded rebel and they've been asked to fight against isil also need to fight against assad because that is the ultimate mission. and so as we move forward i'd like to hear how that is coincided. let me ask you to other questions. i heard you very clearly when you said we are not asking all of our partners to engage in military, direct military actions. but i hope that there will be, and i'd like to hear from you, can we expect part of a sunni arab coalition members to, in fact, a part of military actions in this regard? that this cannot be simply a campaign by the west against the
east. >> you are absolutely correct. first of all let me thank you and i think the committee for the vote that you took, the only entity in the congress that did and it was an affirmative vote and we're grateful for that and respect it. currently, there are countries outside of europe and outside of the region committed to engage in military action. there are countries in europe committed to take military action. there are countries in the region, arab, committed to take military action. we will have sufficient levels of commitment to take military action. it will be up to centcom and general allen and others to work on the question of who will do what. >> it's fair to say thi that ths going to be a multiyear effort. >> well certain -- the president has been very clear about that. certain parts of will become absolutely. i can't tell you -- i can tell
you this. when we took them on at mosul dam and the iraqis were on the ground and took them on, we took back mosul dam. we took them on at trenton, they moved out. we took them on at sinjar mountain. we freed the people at sinjar mountain. and we have currently enable people to be able to hold other places and it is clear from intelligence we pick up that what we're doing now, which has fundamentally been more defensive than offensive, has already had an impact on them. i am convinced that with proper effort we can have an impact. >> i don't dispute that you've had in the short term and impact to stem their advances, at least within the region of their in. my question though, no one reasoreasonably can come from te administration and suggest that the ultimate goal, which is taking up this network, is not going to be a multiyear effort. >> it's a multiyear effort to the president has already said
that. >> with the as a reality let me turn to the aumf. how is it that the magician believes that, and i support its efforts, but how is it that the administration pleased that the 9/11 aumf, or the iraq at uf, provide the authorization to move forward whether congress decides to or not, you know it was not too long ago that members of the administration acted before the committee. when i asked them, i was headed toward repealing the iraqi aumf, and there was administration witnesses he believed that it should be repealed on behalf of the administration. how is it the administration now thinks it can rely upon that for legal authority? >> mr. chairman, how is it? it's because good lawyers within the white house, within the
state department who have examined this extremely closely have come to the conclusion across the board that the 2001 aumf which says all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons responsible for 9/11, those who harbored such organizations or persons to prevent future acts of international terrorism against the united states by such persons or organizations. includes al-qaeda. it's always been interpreted as including al-qaeda. and i'll try -- al-qaeda and associated forces. that is the language. al-qaeda and associated forces. now, al-qaeda, isil began as al-qaeda. in 2005 in iraq, 2004, isil was al-qaeda in iraq. and it only became this thing called isil a year ago. and it only became that out of
convenience to separate themselves in an internal fight, but not because they're thinking changed, not because their targets changed, not because their actions changed. they are the same people doing the same people that were prepared to and were attacking for all of those years. and emir publicity stunt to separate yourself, you call yourself something else, does not get you out from under the force of united states law -- >> i appreciate your ability as a former prosecutor and a gifted attorney to try to make the case. i will tell you that at least from the chair's perspective, you're going to need a new aumf. and it will have to be more tailored, because i don't want to be part of 13 years later, and multitude of countries that have been used in this regard for that to be the authority. and i think our goals are the
same. i think we need to get you a different set of authorities and to look for to what with my colleagues. >> not only are our goals the same, mr. chairman, but we know you're thinking about retooling the aumf, and we welcome, we would like congress, please, do this. we want that to happen. we are not going to make our actions dependent on it happening, but we will work with you as close as we can and should in no to taylor and aumf going forward, and we look forward to that opportunity. >> senator corker. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i just want to say as i said to you personally, we have three senators, president, vice president, secretary of state that are exercising terrible judgment right now. and to say that you're going to do this regardless of what we say, you're not going to ask for by and by the united states senate or house of representatives on behalf of the american people, in a conflict
to choose is going to be multiyear. some people say a decade, taking us into another country with a different enemy is exercising the worst judgment possible. and so i've said this to you as long as i can personally. saying if congress wants to play a constructive role, we would welcome the. to me is a political game. and i'm disappointed that you as secretary of state after being chairman of this committee, after espousing the views that you espouse in the past, out of convenience in parsing legal words would make a statement you just made. so let me move on and say, i would love, you say much has been a published, that's a nice photograph from "the wall street journal." tell me what's been accomplished. who, what innovation is going to have a ground force in syria? what arab sunni country is going to be flying in and bombing and
doing missile raids with an air of insignia on the side of the plane. tell me that. >> senator, you will hear that at the appropriate time within the next days, as john allen and the team work with all of these countries for the permissions, for the pacing, for all the things that will take place. i've told you they -- >> let me ask you this -- >> no, no, no. let me finish. >> will have arab sunni countries participating in the ground effort and serious because no, i didn't say the ground effort. you know, right now the plan is to work through, and our judgment is that we can be effective working in the way that we are. la mesa a couple of things, first of all. with respect -- >> you can say the answer to my questions, okay? i'm not going to be filibustered. >> i'm going to answer your question. i'm sure the chair will be, you
know, happy to have the kind of dialogue i talked about earlier. it's important talk this through. >> i've got two minutes 34 seconds and for more questions. >> senator, yada let me answer any of them yet. so let me try to answer the question. >> the question is, what arab sunni country is going to be putting boots on the ground in syria against this now claimed army by your -- >> at this moment no country has been asked to put boots on the ground or no country is talking of it. we don't think it's a good idea right now. so there's no discussion of that at this moment. now, with respect to the judgment about asking congress to do it, i'm asking to do it. pass it. we'd love to have you do it. but we're not going to get stuck in the situation when we have the authority of not exercising our authority to do we believe we did to do to protect the country. so what asking you to do. pass it to more. >> you asking us to do it but you're not giving any details because you don't have them.
>> that's not true. >> then share them. >> i'm not going to sure that the public here today. >> share them in a classified setting. >> i'm confident there will be so many classified briefings that you be tired of them. but at the moment we are not going to lay this out until john allen has had a chance to come to the u.n. on friday, until we've had a chance to work closely with all of these countries in order to make this as effective as possible. >> do you realize how unserious the things that you've laid out and do things that were laid out yesterday sound when you're discussing training 5000, and your own words doctors, dentists and others, in saudi arabia over a year? i don't know whether they are being trained for offenses or defensive. i'd like you to clarify that activity. my understanding is that they will be given high-tech
equipment after they prove themselves on the battlefield. you understand how unrealistic and how that effort on the ground where they are based, were i so is based, -- isil is based and doesn't match the rhetoric the administrators laid out and, therefore, you're asking us to approve something that we know the way you've laid it out makes no sense. we have a strong sense that our army, our military leaders have urged you to put special forces on the ground. but no, we're not going to do that. so this doesn't even seem serious. it seems like, it seems like a political answer to the united states as they cry out about this uncivilized activity. but it doesn't seem real to me. if you're willing to get into classified setting and layout all these details and tell us
which of these countries are going to be flying their flag into syria, they going to be putting people on the ground because we know, we know the free syrian army cannot take on myself. you know that. you talk about the multiyear process. we're talking decades if that's going to be our salvation. so i'll just close with this. i'm disappointed. i was disappointed in the briefing we had last week. i do want us to deal with this in an effective way. you've not laid it out in a way that meets that test. i hope when we come back on before you put people in harm's way, unnecessarily, you have a plan that achieves the end you just laid out. we know right now that's not where you are. and i hope, again i hope you will seek it. i hope you will say that you're not going to do it without it, and i hope you will lay out a plan that will convince us that you are serious about doing the
things you said you're going to do to the american people and to us about isil. because you haven't done it now. and i hope you will lay out a way to pay for it, to pay for it because we know this is going to take many, many years. and it has to do with the safety of our citizens. >> mr. chairman, can i, i hope, answer a little bit? senator, unicode i must say to you i really find it somewhat surprising for you to suggest that as the president of the united states talks to the nation and commits to take strikes in order to deal with isil, as we've come back from a week of very serious meetings with nations around the world, all of whom are committed to this, that you sit there and suggest that it's not serious. now, with all due respect to you, senator --
>> okay. >> let me try something point-blank. a moderate opposition in syria has, in fact, been fighting isil for the last two years. and since last january the free syrian army has been engage with isil in a level, and damascus countryside, and groups such as the syrian revolutionary front have thought of isil. they have expelled them from the province which borders turkey and eclipsed the border crossing. over the past two months moderate brigades have been deployed in northern a level to prevent isil from capturing key border towns, to which a large quantity of you mentioned assistance is now being sent. but they require our support. senator mccain knows that. he's been screaming about it for sometime. >> we've all been screaming about it. we've all done nothing, at least not much to talk about. >> senator, let's just understand that the fact is that
what has propelled isis to some degree is a word called success. and as isis has had success, they'd used social media and it appealed to grow to numbers as they possibly been put on their heels. and that's the united states and other countries do seriously commit to this endeavor. and believe me, what we're doing is serious. then if success begins to turn and move towards the free syrian army and the moderate opposition, i believe you will see greater numbers of recruits. that's why the president is asking for that open training under title 10, in order to try to build that up as fast as possible. our estimates are that are not currently tens of thousands still of fighting members of the opposition. and if you can get more people better trained, and by the way,
every month that i've been secretary of state, we have been adding to the effort of what we are doing with respect to the syrian opposition. .. opposition. and most of that needs to be covered in a classified setting, as you know, but our assessment is that we can and given the urgency of the situation begin to move this program to a greater degree. so will it take a period of time? we've all said that, yes. but we're confident that we have the ability to be able to change the situation on the ground. by the way, i do have a list here. i'm not going to go into all of it now. buere we have had at least 18 fights that we have taken and to urge zilpah really have been providing additional weapons near paris margarita other countries a been doing this. australia is committed, a number of different items. i'm not going to go into a publicly sending various kinds of assistance.
croatia, czech republic, denmark, estonia, france, hungary, italy, saudi arabia, germany. there are lot of countries here. by the way, they are all serious, to. >> secretary kerry, thank you for your tireless work. i think it is shocking and a sad state of affairs that we heard just now says angry comments and a new, mr. secretary, and through you that our president instead of at isis, a savage group who decapitated to americans and have warned that they're thirst for more american blood is out there. think it is shocking. i am actually shaking and trembling. this is not the time to show
anger at the people who are working at night and day whether you agree with them are not to protect our people. now, i want to talk about the aumf. i voted against it in 2002, which started the disastrous war in iraq. i voted for it in 2001. i have agreed with the us six times. mr. secretary, the lawyers i have consulted with believed they you have the authority to go after isil. it is very clear. you read the parts. people listen to you. he read the parts that are correct. now that is not to save that i would not welcome working on a new one, but i want to say right now, the way things get done around this place and the let politics could play around this place i am proud that you say
you're going to do your work to protect the american people. this is just a sad opening for the hearing. i have never seen it, and i have gone through some tough ones. now, i want to say this, the iraq war and inflamed the long simmering sectarian divisions in that country. i know you do not want to get into the past, and that is fine. it is worth mentioning because from my point of view that is a war i voted against. i am for going after isil because there is such a difference. there are two strains of thought as people speak out against the policies of the administration. one is they say you are not doing enough. go back with ground troops to more war, more boots on the ground, american boots are the only birds that work. you have proven that is just not true. and i certainly reject that. and the second school of
thought, some of the folks out there who i like and talk to all the time, they think that we should not take the fight to isil. forget it. it is too complicated. it is fraught with uncertainty. we should sit on the sidelines. i oppose that. you cannot sit on the sidelines. at least i cannot. you have a group like this. 14-year-old, giving them this gift to their fighters, murdering ethnic and religious minorities including christians, sunni and shia and warning that their arrival continued to a strike the necks of americans. they have a very simple. they say if you do not take our twisted version of islam you either fleet, convert, or die. so i am not going to sit idly by and.
mr. secretary, i have a question for human. i was doing interviews. i was expressing these views that there were certain areas where is gray in certain areas where it is clear to me. everyone takes their own lands to the question. i was asked this question. how can we make sure that the sunni moderates we help our the right ones? we have heard reports that the syrian moderates signed a nonaggression pact with isil. my answer to that was, there are all kinds of syrian moderate groups, and we are certainly not working with those who do not see it our way. could you expand on that answer? >> i would be delighted. this information fundamentally put out by isil, the moderate opposition recently restated his commitment as a national movement to fighting extremism generally and including isil please send a
recent statement that they reached is simply baseless, not accurate, and they have not and they will not. >> thank you. and then i mean, i do not have enough time to test everything. one last question. what roles to iran and russia play in this conflict have the interest of these two countries factored into the president's counter isil strategy? note is delicate. >> you know, russia obviously, its principal line of support, assad, and --, as we all love, does not approving the willingness or capacity to go after isil. and russia was at the meeting in paris. china was at the meeting in paris. both spoke out powerfully about the need to stand up to isil.
and iran, as you know, the subject of whether or not they might have been invited there were certain problems with china to make that happen because of country objections with respect to the presence. and it was not -- it did not happen. but iran obviously is deeply opposed to isil please reroute coordinating militarily but we have had brief conversations on the side of negotiations taking place at -- plus one iran nuclear negotiations. and we are prepared to see whether our non iran can contribute in a constructive way, but that would require also changing what is happening in syria where there irgc is on the ground and supporting assad and engage in activities. hezbollah on their behalf
and they support. so there are a lot of areas of twisted conflict in these relationships, and we are looking, it would be negligent not to be open to listening to some change in the dynamic or some possibility of a constructive activity, but we are not relying on it, waiting for it, organizing around it, are coordinating with it at this point time. >> thank you. >> before i turn to the gentleman, let me just say to the secretary on this subject, i heard what you said, but to me iran is a regional instigator. it is a patron of the murderous assad regime, it is a sponsor of sectarian divisions inside of iraq. it uses iraqi airspace to send troops and men into syria. and some of us are concerned that, first of all, there
and purposes are not our and purposes. secondly, some of us are concerned that negotiations with iran, you know, are affected to the extent that they express any desire to be helpful, they want to do it at the cost of concessions at the negotiating table. now you're shaking your head. >> not going to happen. >> i would not expect anything else. we hear these back channel efforts and then they get added by ayatollah, it creates uncertainty in that process, and i don't want to take more time for my colleague. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i share some of the anger of senator boxer when it comes to what has been going on with the beheading of americans. i mean, this is -- this is time for americans to be watching their fellow citizens being be headed by the savage people. and something has to be done about it. i fully sympathize with the problem that you have.
where is happening, such a complex situation with complex cultures and what have you and you have to do something about it. i want to the bill in with the chairman. he mentioned three points in his opening that he was hoping he would here, and i have not heard them yet. that is, he talked about hearing the plan that you have. he wanted to hear what success looks like and he wanted to hear metrics as to how we measure progress. and i am just not there yet. i am not convinced. and this is particularly true where i think everyone is in agreement. the president, congress, the american people, no one wants this, american boots on the ground. that is not going to happen, and no one is going to go there with that. in fact, had the president come here and said that, look, i want authorization for airstrikes, you and i both know how effective the drone program has been and how good it has been as far as accomplishing the goals that we have in yemen and
pakistan and other places. if you would have come here for that you would have had no problem with me. as far as boots on the ground, who do you get? the iraqis cannot do it. they dropped their guns and uniforms and when, at the slightest bit of threat. with all due respect, everyone talks about the moderates, the opposition and the rebels, we have been through this for over a year. i am just not convinced that there is such a group. you said let's talk about this and see if we cannot come up with some way to do this. the best group around to be able to do this, but boots on the grounds are the kurds. they have been incredibly successful, reliable science. they are great fighters. if anybody is going to succeed on the ground in iraq or syria, it is going to be the kurds.
have you given thought to partner in a put them? what am i missing here? >> well, you are not, senator. they have been extraordinary demand that was our first line of effort debris that is why we put the joint operations center redid and elicited immediate support. we have to hold that line. that was critical, and it is why the president was prepared to help guarantee that that happened. new and they're is a huge flow of weaponry, as i said, 18 flights have gone in. there are flights from other countries, too. italians, others, lots of countries have been supporting the kurds in this effort. i think this is the work that john allen needs a chance to develop a little bit to see how what will go. the bottom line this, the commitment to destroy isil, and that means what i described earlier today. and for the momentum growing
moderate opposition is one way of coming at it. we will see what else may be possible as we go forward. >> i appreciate that. it is encouraging for me to hear that you have engaged the kurds. >> very, very much so. >> with little time i have left i just want to make absolutely certain of your testimony. you originally said when you are meeting with these countries they have said what can we do to help some. but you have also said that nobody has agreed to put the boots on the ground. and then i said you think that you have not asked them to put boots on the ground. let me be clear. has anybody committed that they would fly their flag in and do airstrikes in this area? >> yes. >> and they are committed to do that? >> yes. >> but in the classified setting we will be able to get to those people are? >> yes. >> that is much more encouraging. thank you, and with that my
time is up. >> secretary kerry, first of all, thank you for your incredible service. i -- what you have stated express's my view on the need for international action against a barbaric terrorist organization, isil. it requires an international response. i think president obama has been effective, particularly in the actions in iraq, the military strikes have been very effective in pulling back isil advancements, and i think the president deserves credit for doing that. he certainly has my support. you have been effective in bringing about an international coalition, and that is extremely important whenever we involve missions like this that must include an international presence. and you have been very clear that we will not half combat
ground troops as part of this campaign, and i suppose each of those statements. so i want to get back to the point that the chairman mentioned and i guess everyone of us have mentioned in regards to the authorization of force. because i am not clear what we will do when syria, and i am not comfortable yet as to what we will do in syria. and i am looking forward to more information being made available to us. but my concern, i would really like to get your thoughts on this. can the authorizations that were passed in 2001 and 2002 were clearly aimed at a different circumstance, and if your lawyers interpretations are correct there are open ended in definitely well beyond the obama administration and could be used for long-term
commitments, including ground force commitments in the future. and that certainly was not the congressional intent. i did not support the 2002 resolution, as the chairman said, it was based upon misinformation. 2001 was clearly aimed at the circumstances in afghanistan and was not intended to deal with the current circumstances and syria. i would hope we would all agree to that. so i think that it is absolutely essential that we come together inbuilt and revisit the authorization issues more than you would welcome congressional involvement. i think it is impact -- imperative that we attempt to clarify the authorizations on the use of force to meet the current needs. i do not think syria will be difficult. lee had been invited in by another country -- of i mean
iraq. we have been invited in by the host country. it is clear we will not put combat troops on the ground there. syria will be more difficult. there are many of us who are not prepared to authorize the use of force in syria with the intimation we currently have, but that is something we have to work with. the president has article to powers. he always has horizon to defend the interest of this nation. his responsibilities as commander-in-chief, but i do not think there is any immediate urgency with congressional action. i think that it is vital for the appropriate role, and for moving forward beyond just the obama administration because, as you pointed out, this circumstance will not end in the next two years. and i just welcome your thoughts as to how you think that we should proceed in trying to deal with the type of authorization that can
pass congress, give you the comfort levels you need to protect us against any lengthy, particularly combat involvement in these countries in the future. >> well, senator, thank you very much for your comments. but, look, i would not sit here comfortably and suggest to you -- norwood president obama by that token i no suggest to you that this ought to go on indefinitely and there should not be an effort with congress to define the spirit of course there would be. i think the american people wanted, deserve it, and it is inappropriate role for both branches to play, to work together to articulate that going forward. the president has made it crystal clear. he is ready to do that. we know that the chairman has announced that he is going to begin work to define at. we look forward to working with you to define it. that is how we go about it.
now, in the immediate moment we have a prime minister. [inaudible conversations] in my meeting with the prime minister at the end we met with the preston and then read you know what he said as an opening comment not even prompted. he said isil is a terrorist nation mobilizing its international network to recruit people from all over the world. they have funds for mob across the region. we are fighting these people, something. [inaudible] about our community attacking minorities, women, children, they already --
and it was. [inaudible] about women killing or raping. a challenge to the region, to the international community. they're coming from across the border, neighboring syria are the international community is necessary to protect iraqis in the whole region. what is happening in syria is coming across to iraq. we cannot cross that border. it is an international border in a row for the international community, the united nations and the united states to act immediately to stop the spread of this cancer. it is spreading in the whole region, and we have a resolution to fight the cancer in iraq. we iraqis will have both an inclusive government now, and we can do this job properly. everybody as a whole. he goes on to talk about how they will do it.
he specifically asks for the united states of america to help in this role. the lawyers also are clear that iraq has a right of self-defense and is exercising its right of self-defense and asking the united states help but. we already have a military agreement with them with respect to that. and so iraq is asking us to help him, and as a matter of right if they are being attacked from outside their country he have the right of hot pursuit, write to the will to attack those who are attacking you as a matter of self-defense. we believe that there is full justification command obviously that will be laid out further. is it better to have a greater statement of that? better to have the congress of the united states defining this going forward? we agree, but we need to move and to move rapidly because of the urgency of this danger. >> thank you.
i was struck by the language in your opening statement. isil must be defeated, and a story. collectively we will be measured by how we carry out this mission. from military perspective the plan of carrying out this mission involves a combination of iraqi forces in iraq from a military perspective more capacity, of course the kurds, moderate levels in syria, more air power, no combat boots on the ground on the part of the united states. over the last few days as the president made that announcement has been doubt expressed whether that strategy will achieve what you have defined as our goal. the "washington post" reported the top u.s. commander in the middle east advice the president -- president william mott is contingent of troops to advise and assist the iraqi army. the chairman of the joint chiefs yesterday said that if local forces do not work he would recommend u.s. ground troops potentially to the president. my question is, if it becomes clear that the only way to achieve the defeat of
isil is for the engagement of american ground troops will that be something that the president will consider at that time? >> the president will not put american ground troops into iraq. he made it clear again today in a statement that he made that america can make a decisive -- i am quoting the president. we can make a decisive difference, but i want to be clear the troops that have been deployed to iraq do not and will not have a combat mission. we're not going to deal with hypothetical about what happens if and this and this. we believe there are any number of options as to how one can guarantee the affect on isil long before you were to get to the hypothetical conversation about americans so i understand the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff whose job is to look at it from his perspective in terms of his military and his judgment, but at the president has made a judgment as commander in
chief that that is not in the cards. that is where we are. i'm not going to deal with a hypothetical. >> quite frankly, we are relying on military strategy built on rebels to at this point are under assault by the regime and local forces of which some testimony set up to have for i'm capable of fighting. kurds that have been great fighters but are only willing to protect its territory. this is a seriously stated goal. the only thing that can solve this problem is u.s. combat forces we're not going to do that and isil gets to stay. >> we're so far away from that. >> the let me ask you this. >> let me discuss that. i will not get an abbott pedicles. you are presuming that iran and syria have no capacity to take on isil. who knows? and i'm not going -- let's start down this road.
>> you're saying there is the opportunity. >> i never said anything about coordinating. if we are failing and failing miserably who knows which was there will make. you preposition is on the notion that we're failing. i don't believe that we will fail i will go back to the report. the number of people including former defense secretary gates has said his belief that it is not possible, number of highly qualified military experts said that they do not believe. you stated in your opening statement. >> there are lots of possibilities between here and there. the president has said he is not going to put -- >> you mentioned iran. iran yesterday said not that it was on the sidelines of these negotiations. and that the u.s. ambassador in iraq reached out to the iranian ambassador and asked to discuss some sort of level of coordination, and they already give us an answer.
he said your open to dialogue if it had any sort of promise to be productive. he has answered the question. no point in coordinating with a catchy his hands are dirty. quite frankly -- he said this, not need. you are lying. we did not exclude them from the talks to join the coalition. they excluded themselves, they refuse to participate, and he went on to say that in iraq the u.s. goal is to turn it into a playground or we can enter freely and, well. i would say that any hopes of coordinating with iran it considered to be just as evil as isil is something that i would discourage for a number of different reasons. want to ask you one more question, and it has to do with the rebels and syria. later today ambassador for will testify the biggest and -- enemy the moderate face is the -- regime. the of targeting of moderate rebel and non isis rebel forces in the hopes of wiping them out so that they, the assad regime, will
be the only alternative left in syria. very interested in supporting the moderate rebels will not require us to protect them from syria and the assad regime if we hope that they can develop into a credible fighting force? >> isis -- isil first. that is our policy. >> but ambassador for will testify later today that the biggest enemy they face is the assad regime bombing them, and there are reports today, credible reports that assad has stepped up his campaign attacking these moderate rebels. they may not be there for a storm. >> that is not our judgment. we obviously recognize that there are serious challenges with the assad regime command our policy has not changed in opposing the assad regime and help in the moderate opposition. and in a classified form i think we have a better opportunity to discuss what we're doing additional in order to do that.
>> thank you, mr. secretary, for being here, and for all of your tireless efforts to address the isis threat. that is a threat that i believe was really brought home to the american people by the barbarous and heinous murders of james foley. as you may know, jim foley grew up in new hampshire. they both have ties to my state. i think people in new hampshire and across the country felt personally those murders. i appreciate -- and i said this yesterday at the armed services meeting with general dempsey and secretary hegel that i appreciate the efforts of our men and women in the military to make a rescue attempt to free those men
being held hostage. i have been troubled by the comments from the family that have been reported about their concern that they did not -- were not communicated with and did not have support from our government as they were trying to deal with the hostage situation for their son. and i wonder if you could -- well, let me rephrase this. i hope that posted the murders this administration and future administrations will seriously reassess what can better be done to support families who are dealing with this kind of a crisis. some of the reports have pointed out that there are other countries to have
different ways of dealing with the families. i certainly hope that you will help in this effort as we look at how we can better support those families. >> well, senator -- excuse me. senator, first of all, let me begin by saying that i know how personally and deeply involved you are in jim's case and then working with us to try to keep the focus on it. i know how close you were to the family, and i know how much effort went into the prior effort to when jim was in libya. i worked on that personally and on the subsequent effort we raise it country after country to try to get foreign minister or some contact in the country. of there a way to get proof